JDxJB collaboration

The ever-talented Jessica Dance launched her latest project earlier this year, and although I’ve been meaning to share this for a long time (and am therefore real late to the party), it’s just too awesome not to share!

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Dance recently collaborated with popular illustrator Jon Burgerman to bring his iconic 2D characters to life in full, woolly glory.

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These super cute characters have been ingeniously reconstructed in lambswool and delightfully capture the original illustrations with the same charm and playfulness they portray on the page.HyperFocal: 0

My fave has to be the flying Soya Milk Carton. Now if only we could buy the patterns… I can dream, can’t I?

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All imagery taken from JessicaDance.com – photography by Jonathan Minster.

Kniterate – the digital machine about to revolutionise the knitting world

Speaking as someone who has only ever hand-knitted, I can’t speak too authoritatively when it comes to knitting machines.

So when I enquired with a knitwear-design pal of mine about them recently, she mentioned that domestic machines are often bought second-hand these days, from an old supply of 1980’s models, as there’s been far less demand for them on the market in recent years, and so no-one really manufactures them now.

Presumably with the rise of fast fashion, the requirements of manufacturing knitted clothing has changed and diminished – and in the UK knitting is seen as more of a crafting hobby now than a necessary life-skill, or even business skill.

So I was really intrigued when I spotted Kniterate on Kickstarter, described as “a compact digital knitting machine to bring fashion fabrication back to your neighbourhood”.

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Having already smashed its initial Kickstarter goal of $100,000 with a whopping 33 days of crowdfunding still to go, there is clearly more than enough interest for this product to help it take off. It’s clearly innovative and solving a problem on the market – for those who would like to ramp up their knitwear production and at a much faster (and more automated) pace.

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For knitwear designers, small fashion businesses or design studios, this must be a dream come true. With a library of templates and up to six feeders (that can harness different colours and/or materials), they would be able to make amazing patterns, structures and shapes that would be hard to knit otherwise.

6cb5546b4a19e996fc40e929189c25cb_original.jpgAnd the end results are pretty inspiring. I’m sure that if you were to mess around with this machine for a bit you could start creating some really cool designs. But with an ‘early bird’ price tag of $4,699, I’m afraid I’m going to have to stick with the more traditional hand-knitting technique for a little bit longer!

Check out Kniterate on Kickstarter.

All imagery from Kniterate’s Kickstarter page.

 

Rainbow Week at Alberta Ferretti

The latest must-have statement slogan knit comes courtesy of Alberta Ferretti, which has launched these beautifully colourful cashmere creations as part of its first capsule collection. Each one is dedicated to a different day of the week from Monday to Sunday, and they’ve been plastered all over instagram, much to my delight (#rainbowweek).

Featuring frontal embroidery for the lettering, a round neck, long sleeves and ribbed trimming, there’s enough detail in there to keep any knitwear-enthusiast very happy. Softly constructed from a virgin wool and cashmere blend in colours ranging from emerald green to navy or grey, there is an option for every fashion addict; whether you’re in to the colour-popping hues or subtle shades, you can find your perfect style.

Ferretti is often known for her ethereal and romantic designs which are often delicately embellished with lace or beading. This is perhaps a move away from embellishment, although these jumpers do still have quite a romantic feel about them.

The relaxed, slim-fit style of this jumper means that it’s super versatile for everyday wear. So despite the hefty price tag, it’s a bit of a no-brainer buy. But with seven different designs, the hardest part is picking your favourite day of the week!

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Photos courtesy of Alberta Ferretti

Zara’s chenille knitwear range

Chenille is a fabric that I don’t think I’ve worn since 1997… And yet this Zara Knitwear Collection has really captured my attention for all the right reasons.

Most have already sadly sold out online but if you’re lucky you may be able to snap one of the last ones up in store. And hopefully the demand means that there will be more beautiful chenille creations in later this year!

The perfect texture and shine for the winter season, these jumpers have a warm, heavyweight feeling to keep you snug and warm whilst also providing some much needed subtle shimmeryness for those dreary January days.

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Full chenille sweater in mustard: £25.99

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Full chenille sweater in olive green: £25.99

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Full chenille sweater in midnight: £25.99

And finally, this last addition even has frills on the arms! Spot on for the ongoing ruffles trend. Nice work, Zara.

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Chenille sweater with frills: £25.99

See Rexy roar with Coach’s latest offering

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Any Thesaurus will tell you that related words to ‘dinosaur’ include ‘moth-eaten’, ‘unfashionable’ and ‘timeworn’. Luckily, the latest item on my knitwear radar is none of the above! Well, apart from donning the ‘dinosaur’ moniker, that is.

Coach’s 100% cashmere Rexy crewneck sweater is the most awesome knitwear design I’ve seen so far this winter, and utilises the intarsia knitting technique so cleverly. It’s so good, that it even makes me feel ambivalent, if not excited(!), for the sudden cold snap we’ve been experiencing.

The jumper was designed in a variety of colourways, including pink, grey, navy, green and black versions. Perhaps they also should have considered amber!

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Adorned by many famous faces including Kate Moss, Daisy Lowe and Winona Ryder, it’s certainly featured high in the style stakes already and is sold out online at Coach and in most other Coach stockists, although there are still a couple waiting to be snapped up at Farfetch.

This beastly sweater is not a pinch either, retailing at an eye-watering £572. But anyone lucky enough to own one would no doubt wear it to extinction, so it’s probably very worth the hefty price tag. No doubt we’ll be seeing similar, more affordable high street versions soon enough. Here’s hoping, anyway…

Dinosaurs are easily the coolest creatures to have ever roamed the earth, so it’s only fair that they get some more time in the limelight. Now excuse me while I go and drool over this a little longer.

Check out Coach and the rest of the Rexy range.

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IMAGERY FROM MODESENS, LYST.CO.UK, FEMINA MIDDLE EAST, CHRISTOPHER SMITH/INVISION/AP, COACH & FARFETCH.CO.UK.

 

 

Zara’s new limited edition Crochet Coat is all kinds of amazing

Just look at this beauty! Am I wishing it was Winter yet or what?!

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This multicoloured crochet coat is comprised of the most beautiful autumnal colours. So much so that anyone would be ready to throw themselves onto the grass into the Autumn leaves with gusto. Who knew that granny squares could look this good? It even has a hood at the back! Zara has thought of everything.

The perfect transitional piece for Summer and Autumn, it’s styled beautifully with that striking red high-neck sweater. It would make for a great statement jacket for festival season next year too, teamed with some denim shorts and wellies!

If only I could crochet, I’d start making my very own… But for £69.99 I might just treat myself to a pre-made one! Unless anyone can give me some tips?!

Check out Zara’s crochet coat: £69.99

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Granny Squares are so. hot. right. now.

 

Some girls are bigger than others

Cassie Holland’s Hades label is the new ‘it’ knit label following the launch of its winter collection, “Some girls are bigger than others”, and I’m in love with every piece.  

Over the course of a year, Cassie dedicated all of her spare time to set about founding Hades (named after the Greek God of the Underworld), a label that focuses on celebrating ‘high-quality knitwear with bold colours, something classic that you can keep for a lifetime.’

The collection features a range of iconic band names emblazoned on to slim-fitting, classic crew neck jumpers crafted from high quality Scottish lambswool.

These colour-popping designs feature bands including The Smiths, The Slits, Patti Smith and Sonic Youth, adding a touch of retro styling to your wardrobe, and look perfect with denim of all shapes and sizes, or button up skirts for autumn.

At a cool £160 each, these achingly cool jumpers ain’t cheap, but you’ll be guaranteed to be wearing yours for years to come. Consider this your new staple sweater. 

Check out the collection at Liberty London.
Check out @hades_wool

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Alexa Chung spotting Hades at Glastonbury

Imagery from David M. Bennet, Hades.co.uk and Liberty.co.uk

Design spotlight: Stacie Clark

This week’s knitwear design spotlight shines upon the talented Stacie Clark; an award-winning luxury knitwear designer with a strong love for traditional artisanal crafts.

Stacie first learnt how to knit as a child from her mum (it’s the best way to learn!), and since went on to gain a 1st Class Honours Degree in Fashion in 2014, focusing on both crochet and knitting. Talk about living the dream!

Since graduating, Stacie has become a freelance knitwear designer, and also created an award winning debut collection for AW15. Below are some photos mostly taken from her graduate collection:

You can quickly see the voluminous shaping of the pieces, and the complimentary style of the colours chosen which when combined, make for a very flattering silhouette. I particularly love the navy crocheted cropped trousers above! Also, the panelling on some pieces in combination with sections of knitting or crochet is really striking texturally.

In an article published on her Facebook page, Stacie was quoted as saying; “Winter is my favourite season, and there’s nothing I love more than soft, cosy layers and the feeling of being hugged by clothes to keep the chill out. With that in mind, alongside my fascination with textures, it seems only natural that I gravitated towards knitwear as a designer and creating a brand that focuses on the ideal that fashion should be comfortable and expressive with a little touch of luxury. For me, it’s about enjoying the simple pleasures in life, and appreciating the crafts.”

You certainly get a sense of Autumn and Winter from these cosy, chunky knit pieces. And the ‘touch of luxury’ she describes can be seen through the various layers and sections of generous amounts of material. Beautiful!

Here’s looking forward to more amazing things from this innovative designer. Especially now that Autumn/Winter is coming up.

Check out Stacie Clark

Excerpts and photos taken from Stacie Clark womenswear Facebook page

Silk Fred’s crochet masterclass

Silk Fred has become an overnight sensation this year in every fashion addict’s wardrobe, and you can certainly see why. The site’s cool photography teamed with beautiful floaty dresses is a match made in heaven.

These crochet dresses by ‘Elsie & Fred’ are perfect for flaunting some summer skin. For me, it’s all about the white version. Wear over a bikini on holiday or with some black boots and a slip dress for donning around town. Beautiful!

Black and pink harlequin dress: £38

White harlequin dress: £38